, Salem, MA


November 2, 2012

Moving the Chains: Crown Jewels: With a month to go, handicapping the favorites for area football MVP

With three weeks left in the regular season and the Election just days away, its time to handicap a race of a different sort: Who are the front-runners for football player of the year in the area?

For argument’s sake, let’s consider a hybrid of the classic Player of the Year and Most Valuable Player arguments. In other words, what a player means to his team should be considered, but isn’t necessarily the biggest factor.

With three weeks to go and every championship in the area up for grabs, there’s time for this race to shift radically, and this list could end up looking like Presidential poll from early September.

The Favorites

1A) Johnny Thomas, St. John’s Prep: The powerful junior took over the area rushing lead last week and now has 1,089 yards on the season with eight TDs. He’s averaging 9.0 yards a carry, nearly a first down every time he carries the rock and second only to teammate Alex Moore in the area.

Thomas is the favorite, in my mind, because of his consistency. The Peabody native has run for 100 yards or more in every game besides Everett, and that afternoon he had 94. He’s scoring on big plays, with five TDs of 20 yards or more, and also has a defensive touchdown.

More than that, he’s done it against arguably the toughest schedule in the state. The list of opposing runners that have gone over 200 yards at Brockton’s Marciano Stadium has to be fairly short, and Thomas is on it with a 221 yard effort in Week 4.

You don’t need to wonder what Thomas would do against this defense or that defense because he’s produced against the best the state has to offer. He’s at the top of my ticket heading into the stretch run.

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